Valley newspapers to launch Citizen of the Year nominations

Joel Martinez | jmartinez@themonitor.com Janet Vackar, left, and Robert Vackar are seen at an Aug. 27 event.

Residents of the Rio Grande Valley will again have the opportunity to nominate their Citizen of the Year, as the 2019 designation will be open for nominations beginning Monday.

AIM Media Texas newspapers The Monitor, The Brownsville Herald and Valley Morning Star, as well as El Nuevo Heraldo, Mid-Valley Town Crier, Coastal Current Weekly and El Extra, partner each year to select the RGV Citizen of the Year from nominations of individuals in the South Texas community whose work in their respective fields helped further the region.

Nominees should exemplify good citizenship and dedication toward bettering their neighborhoods and communities, whether through philanthropic efforts, helping foster educational opportunities, or advancing the area’s cultural identity, contributing to the local economy or advocating for the disenfranchised.

Past winners include the 2018 designee, Bill Reagan, executive director of Loaves and Fishes community shelter in Harlingen, Sister Norma Pimentel, who runs the Catholic Charities Respite Center in McAllen, Robert Vackar, CEO and president of the Bert Ogden Auto Group who donated millions of dollars to the UTRGV business school, and Esmeralda Leal of the Capable Kids Foundation, which sponsors adaptive sports and other activities for children with disabilities.

“We’re proud to have recognized these outstanding individuals and their extraordinary efforts to give back to their communities, and feel it’s our responsibility to continue shining a light on the people of the Rio Grande Valley who are dedicating their lives to helping others and advancing the region’s footprint,” said Stephan Wingert, AIM Media Texas regional vice president and publisher and editor of The Monitor. “We hope our readers will continue to help us make this important decision by nominating individuals who they feel deserve this recognition.”

Nominations can be emailed to citizen@themonitor.com, and must include the nominee’s full name, phone number and some biographical information in support of their nomination. Readers can also visit www.themonitor.com/coty, www.valleymorningstar.com/coty or www.brownsvilleherald.com/coty and fill out a Citizen of the Year nomination form.

Nominees will be featured in each newspaper’s Opinion section throughout the nomination process.

The deadline to make a nomination is Tuesday, Dec. 31. AIM Media Texas editors will then make their decision and announce a winner in January.